Published November 27, 2012
LONDON – British government prosecutors say a late politician who sexually abused young boys in the 1960s should have been prosecuted.
The Crown Prosecution Service says eight men had filed allegations against Cyril Smith in 1970, saying he assaulted them as teenagers, but charges were never brought. It said the chief prosecutor then had concluded that there would be no prospect of conviction.
Prosecutors and police said Tuesday that if Smith had been accused today, he would be charged and prosecuted. Police said although Smith cannot be charged posthumously, officials should publicly recognize that the boys had been sexually and physically abused.
Smith died in 2010. He was a Liberal Democrat lawmaker for Rochdale in northern England between 1971 and 1992.